US States Divided Over Gun Store Sales Having Special Credit Card Tracking

Gun Rights
US States Divided Over Gun Store Sales Having Special Credit Card Tracking
Signs are posted at the entrance to a gun shop owned by David Liu in Arcadia, California, on February 10, 2023.
(Photo : FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

A California law requiring credit card networks to provide banks with special retail codes that could be assigned to gun stores to track their sales is set to be implemented Monday (July 1). 

The Associated Press reported that credit card firms like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express announced over the weekend that they were working on implementing the state law by adopting the new merchant code for gun sales created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). 

Previously, gun store sales were considered “general merchandise,” but were reportedly changed to prevent future mass shootings. 

However, several states, such as Georgia, Iowa, Tennessee, and Wyoming, have new laws doing the exact opposite. 

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The conflicting laws are understood to be the newest developments in the often partisan discussion of the Second Amendment (2A) of the United States Constitution. 

NPR reported that the new law came a week after US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy declared gun violence as a public health crisis, which cited a rising number of firearm-related deaths. 

Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association, a pro-2A group, condemned Murthy’s analysis.

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Democrats Pushing Hard on Gun Store Tracking

Democratic lawmakers and gun control activists are hoping that California’s gun store laws would assist financial institutions in detecting suspicious gun-related purchases so that law enforcement agencies could track them down. 

In particular, gun control nonprofit Guns Down America’s executive director, Hudson Munoz, welcomed the move, saying that it was akin to “putting [the group’s] foot down” to curb gun-related crimes.

Aside from California, Colorado, New York, and New Mexico, lawmakers are following suit. Maine previously passed gun control laws after an Army reservist killed 18 people and injured 13 others. 

GOP Fears Gun Store Tracking May Affect Responsible Owners

On the other hand, Republican lawmakers and gun rights advocates expressed fear that the implementation of the retail code could lead to unwarranted suspicion of responsible gun buyers and those who have done nothing wrong. 

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is one of the groups supporting laws blocking the tracking code. Its senior vice president, Lawrence Keane, said that gun control supporters perceived such codes as a first step “to restrict the lawful commerce in firearms.”

In contrast to Maine’s reaction to its mass shooting, both Iowa and Tennessee took steps to allow more trained teachers to carry firearms at work to purportedly protect students from shooters.

READ MORE: US Drug Prices Soared by 37% Over Past Decade, Surpassing Inflation Rate

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